It’s here. Cheltenham 2016. Better than sex? I’d have to have a think about that, although I’d imagine better than the sex any woman has ever enjoyed with Paddy! You here me Paddy?
It’s all about finding a winner, and of course last year this blog smashed it over the four days and we warmed up nicely with a double on Saturday. I’m hoping to repeat the dose.
You simply have to accept you’re going to be backing a few shorties this year in search of a winner. Tuesday sees a real mixture of crunched odds and value.
There’s not a big field for the Grade 1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The way to play this is to lump on MIN and have a few quid each-way on SILVER CONCORDE where Paddy’s paying the first 4 home each-way.
Min is considered as good as Vautour who landed this event two seasons ago for the same connections of Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci. If he is that good he will simply win, and I’m not worried about him pulling too hard. Show no mercy Min, no mercy at all.
Silver Concorde may show much improved form on better ground, and don’t forget he won the bumper here for Dermot Weld. He’s classy and worth an interest to fill a place.
There’s no point in saying much about the Racing Post Arkle, with DOUVAN, last year’s Supreme Novice Hurdle hero, in a different league.
The first really tricky event is the Ultima Handicap Chase, a Grade 3 over 3m 1f. The one I like at big odds is SPRING HEELED, who landed the Kim Muir in 2014. He’s another of those Irish horses who gags for faster ground.
It’s the Champion Hurdle next and I’m still gutted Faugheen misses the race through injury.
The reigning champ was a certainty to follow up, That said, I’m all over ANNIE POWER who should have had the chance to land this event two seasons ago.
Then she was made to run in the World Hurdle, where she cruised up but got outstayed by RSA hope More of That. She can make amends for last year’s fall in the mares’ hurdle when clear by finally winning a race at Cheltenham.
Speaking of that race, it’s Mullins, Ricci and Walsh again in the Mares’ Hurdle this year, where I expect VROUM VROUM MAG to prove the banker of the day and deliver.
Next up it’s the National Hunt Chase over a gruelling near 4m! Jockeyship is key, and I’m expecting a big run from Gordon Elliott’s NOBLE ENDEAVOUR. He’s a bit of a character and usually runs over shorter, but I just have a feeling he might love this type of event. Back him each-way.
Finally we end up with the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase and I’m all over ALOOMOMO for the impressive Warren Greatrex.
This six-year-old jumps well and has been shrewdly placed, warming up with a spin over hurdles last time. So best of luck. Enjoy the week. and Make sure Paddy pays for every pint of Guinness you swig back. You hear me Paddy? Yeeehaaa!